Arusha National Park is located in Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania the park covers an area of 137km2 (53 sq. mi), the park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 meters though the park is small but varied with the most spectacular landscapes in the three distinct areas that is the West, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; also the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after the Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha National Park was established in 1960 and it’s managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority.
Arusha national park lies on a 300 kilometer axis of Africa’s most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east. The park is just a few kilometers north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25km east of the city. It is also 58km from Moshi and 35km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Arusha National Park broadly is also made up of the variety of landscapes, ranging from open savannah through acacia scrubland to rainforest and eventually to alpine conditions on the higher reaches of Mount Meru.
Attractions in Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park is rich in the wildlife, it has a variety of animal species in the park including the giraffe, Cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, black-and-white colobus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, elephant, bushbuck as well as the African animals that includes the leopards are always seen in the park and many other animals in the park.
Arusha National Park is birding destination tour with the various bird species in the park that includes the Greater flamingo, Helmeted guinefowl, Lesser flamingo, Silvery- cheeked hornbill and many others birds in the reserve.
Mount Meru’s caldera is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) wide, Mount Meru is the main topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park, its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds and animals like monkeys, leopards and many others.
Canoeing the Momella Lakes.
Momella lakes within Arusha National park are a series of seven the Big Momella, Small Momella, Kusare, Lekandiro, Tulusia, Rishateni, El Kekhotoito. Each of these lakes have different shade of green or blue because of algae growth thought the water in the lake in unsafe for drinking just it is used for canoeing where you can view buffaloes, bush buck, giraffes, hippos and many water birds living close to the water.
The Ngurdoto crater attraction is densely filtrated by numerous Tanzania wildlife and as well the mostly known point for stop overs during the game driving, as during the game driving on this area you can be able to sight various animal species like the Cape buffalo, elephants, monkeys, baboons, warthogs, various antelopes also the black and white colobus monkeys can be seen.
Lake Longil is the only fresh water lake in the park always streamlined with animals drinking at the shores like the waterbucks, buffaloes and others can be seen viewed from here during your visit in the park.
Ngurdoto museum is dedicated to show the different types of animals that are found inside the Ngurudoto crater like the Cape buffalo, monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, the Nguroto museum houses are the impressive collection of examples of animals, birds, insects which are also indicated in the park.
Tululusia Hill is a very excellent camping and hiking point in Arusha National Park and a great viewing point of the park, this hill is a former lookout point during the former tribal wars in the area currently covered by the park.
Little/ Mini Serengeti.
This locally known as Serengeti ndogo, the mini Serengeti is an open grassland inside Arusha national park where various animals come to graze include the elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, Warthogs, waterbucks and among others which is a big attraction to the tourists.
Activities in Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park gives you the best game viewing, with the best sighting areas in the park. The game drives are done in different times of the day morning, evening where you can come close to almost every animal species in the park while in the four wheel car with the help of the guides; you can be able to see animal species close to you like the hippos, elephants, zebras, buffalos, monkeys, hyenas, water bucks, warthogs, Lions, elephants and among others which gives you the unforgettable memories.
For the bird lovers and watchers, the Arusha has got over 400 species of birds that includes the African fish eagle, African olive pigeon, Augur buzzard, Bar-tailed trogon, Bearded vulture, Black saw wing, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Egyptian goose, Great crested grebe, Hartlaub’s turaco, little grebe, Narina trogon and among more.
Climbing mount Meru will give you a thrilling experiences as you encounter wild and plant life as you ascend to the top, the sloping forest hills will expose you to primates like the white and black Colombus monkeys, red tailed monkey, olive baboon and many more while the wooded savannah is filled with as well.
Canoeing activities are available in the Arusha National park and are a wonderful experience, drifting past herds of elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos and among others as you cruise along the shores of the lake surrounded by the countless flocks of the birds.
Guided nature walks.
Tourists during their nature walk can come to close various animals in the park like the buffalos, elephants, lions, hyenas, leopards and among others, the walking trails and tourists must be accompanied by the experienced tourist guide and pay attention to the instructions, some trails are Kitoto to Njeku through Meru crater, Momella gate to Itikoni, Ngurdoto crater rim, Buffalo to Kaitong, Laitong to Buffalo, Momella gate to Tululusia water fall, which takes you 2 to 6 hours regarding to which trail you can take.
Best time to visit Arusha National Park.
The best time to visit the ark is from June to September and December to March during the dry seasons.
Where to stay in Arusha National Park.
There are accommodation facilities ranging from Budget, Mid-range, Luxury accommodations that includes the Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort and Spa, Hatari Lodge, Tulia Boutique Hotel and Spa, Banana Farm Hostel, Mambo hideaway, Graceland Hotel, Mount Meru Hotel, Kigongoni Lodge, Onsea House, Arusha Crown Hotel, and many others.
Entrance Fees of Arusha National Park.
|Category||PEAK SEASON ( 16th May to 14th March)||LOW SEASON ( 15th March to 15th May)|
|East Africa ( Tshs)||Non East Africa Citizen (USD)||Expatriate/ Residents (USD)||East Africa (Tshs)||Non East Africa Citizen (USD)||Expatriate Residents (USD)|
|Of above the age 16 years||10,000||50||25||10,000||45||22.5|
|Between the age of 5 and 15 years||2000||15||7.5||2000||15||7.5|
|Children below the age of 5 years.||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
How to get to Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park can be reached in two different ways from Arusha town to the Arusha National Park by either the road or Flight means of transport.
Here you can get a direct flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport which is takes you 29 minutes from Arusha town. The distance flight from Arusha town to Arusha national park is 17km (10.6mi)
Adrive from Arusha town to Arusha National Park is between 51.2 km through Arusha –Himo Road /A23 and Momela Road which takes you 1 hr. 52 minutes to reach the park.
Arusha National Park’s highlights can be seen in a single day, and the park is the only park in Tanzania’s northern circuit in which a walking safari is possible then due to the varied landscapes that exist within the park, there is an unusually high level of diversity when it comes to wildlife.